Police officer accused of shooting Israeli-Ethiopian released from custody; violent protests erupt

July 16, 2019 by J-Wire
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Israeli-Ethiopians took to the streets in Jerusalem on Monday afternoon after the Magistrate’s Court in Haifa‏‏‏ released the policeman accused of shooting Solomon Tekah.

Photo by Ya’ara Gilboa/TPS

The police officer was under house arrest and was staying at a hotel since the incident. He was released home after the house arrest warrant ended.

The judge rejected a request presented by the Police’s Investigation Unit for a NIS 50,000 bond and other limitations to be set on the accused officer, saying there was no real concern of obstruction of justice. She did, however, agree to forbid the officer to enter the department he was working in and to use the police computer system.

The shooting, which ignited massive riots by Israelis of Ethiopian origin across the country, is still under investigation.

The Rioters protested the death of Solomon Tekah, an 18-year-old Israeli of Ethiopian descent who was shot dead by a police officer during a scuffle earlier this month. The Ethiopian community claims he was wrongfully shot while the officer says he was acting in self-defence.

The riots included the torching of cars, the blocking of major routes, several incidents that almost ended with a lynching and the mass assault of rioters on police stations and police forces in several cities.

It is unclear at this stage what offence the policeman will be charged with.

Tekah’s family has been critical of the treatment the policeman has received so far and joined the demonstration outside the Knesset on Monday. The demonstrators blocked roads near the Knesset and while marching towards the Supreme Court, as police arrested seven protestors and fought back the demonstrators attempted to block roads in the centre of the city.

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